Participants: Mark Hoban MP, Stephen Metcalfe MP, Matthew Offord MP, Alok Sharma MP, Lucy Allan PPC, Chris Green PPC, James Heappey PPC, Royston Smith PPC, Amanda Solloway PPC, Steve Bell.
In November 2013, CFI led a security and business orientated delegation of 4 Conservative MPs and 5 Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPC) to Israel and the West Bank.
CFI were joined by Matthew Offord MP, Stephen Metcalfe MP, Mark Hoban MP and Alok Sharma MP, Conservative Vice Chairman.
The group also included Lucy Allan, PPC for Telford; Chris Green, PPC for Bolton West; James Heappey, PPC for Wells; Royston Smith, PPC for Southampton Itchen; Amanda Solloway, PPC for Derby North; and Steve Bell, Vice President of the National Convention of the Conservative Party.
The group visited Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon to hear briefings from the IDF about the security threats posed by Hezbollah and Syria’s civil war.
In Jerusalem, the delegation visited the Knesset and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for meetings with Deputy Foreign Minister, Ze’ev Elkin MK, and Mark Regev, spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During their visit to the Knesset, the group were welcomed by Deputy Speaker Hilik Bar MK and even received a standing ovation from the floor of the Knesset for their support of Israel.
In Tel Aviv, the group learned of Israel’s high-tech start-up scene at Google’s Campus and hear about the peaceful coexistence work bringing together Arab-Israeli, Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian children at the Peres Center for Peace.
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, hosted the group for dinner, before which the UK-Israel Tech Hub gave a briefing on the deepening relationship between UK and Israel high-tech start-ups.
The group heard about the problem of Palestinian Authority-sanctioned incitement against Israel during a briefing from Palestinian Media Watch.
Other activities included a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and tours of the Security Barrier and Jerusalem’s Old City.
On their visit to the Palestinian Authority, the delegation met with Dr. Nabil Shaath, senior Fatah official and veteran Palestinian negotiator, as well as his advisor Husam Zulmot in Ramallah, before visiting Rawabi, the first Palestinian-planned city.
"An understanding of the complexities of the region requires a grasp of its geography, history and people; our itinerary aimed to achieve all this. Informative and insightful, I found the CFI trip profoundly affecting in a way I had not forseen."− Lucy Allan PPC